For all of you Food Network fans out there, let me announce my love for the Barefoot Contessa. Her recipes are always amazing and she is one of the few celebrity chefs without an annoying personality. I made her turkey lasagna recipe for friends last weekend, and what a crowd-pleaser it was! We all ate in the formal dining room, drank plenty of wine, and discussed everything that is wrong with Toddlers and Tiaras. It was a lovely night and this lasagna was just the perfect dinner for us.
Here is the turkey lasagna I made for friends. It creates a whopping 8-10 servings, so keep your tupperware handy after you’re through. Ina’s calls for uncased turkey sausage, but I winged it with ground turkey and extra italian seasoning. It still turned out beautifully! The addition of goat cheese was brilliant – it gave the dish a subtle flavor which put extra “wow” in every bite. That just reminds you that this was not made by Stouffer’s.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (or 2 lb ground turkey sausage mixed with italian seasoning)
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound lasagna noodles
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Preheat to 400 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water until you need them, then drain.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.
I served the lasagna with a pinot noir, simple side salad, and garlic bread. It was the centerpiece for a deligtful Sunday evening!
Lots of love,